The Media Challenge Initiative (MCI) on Wednesday November 25, 2020 concluded auditioning students from
different Journalism Institutions in Uganda, for the Ninth Edition of Inter-Institutional Media Challenge (IMC), under the theme; “Keeping Journalism Alive in Times of Uncertainty”.
The IMC is an annual event which brings together students of journalism and those interested in the profession to compete, and showcase talent in news gathering, production and presentation. Winners from the competition are recognized in a glamorous awards event attended by the industry top brass in Uganda.
Exceptional performers are later selected to partake the MCI Fellowship program, in which they are taken through rigorous training in Mobile Journalism, Data Journalism, and Solutions Journalism among other professional aspects, to nurture them fully skilled “one woman/man army” journalists.
Auditions drew participants from Nkumba University, Makerere University, Cavendish University Uganda, Uganda Christian University, Kampala University, Kampala International University, UMCAT School of Journalism, Makerere Business Institute, among others.
Unlike the previous events, the Ninth IMC Edition was held through a unique structuring, in observation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to eliminate the usual mass gathering as dictated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Participants applied for auditioning using through the an Online system. The over 100 participants from different institutions received training in Mobile Journalism, Solutions Journalism and Data Journalism through the MCI Online Platform, https://mcialumni.com. After the training, they were given assignments to produce stories which would be showcased at the event before a panel of judges.
A day at the auditions centre, Xanadu Collections in Kampala commenced with breakaway sessions, where participants’ are assigned to category sessions of their stories; including Participatory Radio, Television Features and Essay writing. In these sessions, there pieces are reviewed by judges and fellow participants and constructive criticism offered for future improvement of the contestant. Through this, they were able to construe their own errors and omissions and how.
This is followed by another afternoon news anchoring contest in both Luganda and English where participants are showcase skill in news anchoring before a panel of judges.
Commenting on the auditions, Miriam Ohlsen, DW Akademie’s Africa Programs Director-Uganda – a top partner in MCI’s #NextGenerationJournalist said the IMC 2020 presented a huge opportunity to participants to make progress in their career growth and development despite the havoc caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, which led to the closure of most universities.
“The Media Challenge Initiative will model you into a holistically well-equipped one man or woman army journalist,” Ohlsen told participants, adding that the auditions present “a huge chance to move forward from the auditions and join the fellowship program at one point.”